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Monday, November 30, 2009

Chicken hen with cowboy boots

Its time for me to hike down to Florida and help my mom out. The coffee pot is emptied, the studio is cleaned up, the plants are watered and the chicken feed is topped off.
This little painting on stretched canvas is 4 x 5 inches. SOLD

Sunday, November 29, 2009


The work is up and there is accompanying text about technique, themes, subject matter and symbolism. I took works from 1998 and paired them with works from 2008 to illustrate the continuity. It surprised me too. The school has open to the public viewing hours Saturdays and Sundays 1-4pm. Next Sunday December 6th there will be refreshments and I'd love to see people stop by.
All the best-

Saturday, November 28, 2009



So here is a small painting- I was playing with the new language- bff- (best friends forever.)...of texting.
Could a pelican and a cormorant have tea? Most of my friends are very different from myself. That is what makes life so interesting. Wouldn't this painting be, as a gift, an inspiring way to say you are glad to be someone's friend?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rooster steeple chase


This is a small 5 x 4 inch acrylic on stretched cotton canvas painting inspired by images of the "all-rooster" carousel at Coney Island. It's a two seater too!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving drink- a toast

painted acrylic on cotton stretched canvas.
This is being offered on Ebay. later today.
I am wishing everybody a grateful pause in their day. I heard from somebody that you can find God, your higher power, your spiritual source, etc, in the pauses. So look for that.
Also, I hope all the hostesses and hosts can embrace the fact that EVEN TODAY they are only human. This holiday can be loaded with superhuman expectations and often the lack leads to feelings of defeat. Enjoy and remember that we are human beings on a spiritual journey.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wet painting of Hen

This is 7 x 7 inches painted on wood panel. Hen walking away from me... Just painted this tonight and had to run to meeting so the photo isn't as good as it should be. I will try to re- shoot it next time I am in the studio. As to when that might be... it's sketchy with my sons around and so many places to be.
Holidays are a challenge for the daily painter. So often I have told myself to wait, skip, stall... but painting keeps me on an even keel and painting chickens is like a meditation... if you forget everything else, it just flows and if feels really really good.

Monday, November 23, 2009


be the change interview last October. I discuss the ArtEast open studio tours, the role of artists in our communities and my own daily work.

Heron frog meal landscape painting


I am going to make a commitment to auction small works through eBay for the next 6 months. This is a bit risky. I can do anything though if I believe it is for a finite period... I will consider stopping on my aunt Lois's birthday next June. Meanwhile you have a wonderful opportunity to obtain quality work, whimsical expressions, for under budget costs. Please check out my auction art on ebay; search for paintings under "Tilly Strauss". Right now this heron is a 6 x 4 inch stretched canvas miniature.
Did I ever post what happened in fourth grade between me and Tommy B. and his frog collection? It was an afternoon when I had to walk home from school. I was Just Today lamenting all the cars parked at ends of roads waiting for bus drop offs so that kids wouldn't have to walk up a hill to their house. I was telling my son how great it is to have a time of transition- a time to day dream and get fresh air after leaving school and it's inherent stress and before entering the home and a whole new set of expectations. No one walks home anymore! Then... I remembered the walk when Tommy got my cousin and I trapped in the orange grove. I have a thing about frogs now... years of therapy probably wouldn't cure me... but Painting can! Oh yes... Well. enough of that- go check out my auction site PLEASE.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Acrylic Cake house canvas painting

So Im going to be trying eBay auctions again... Cake house
This is a small canvas (5 x 4 inches) inspired by my neighbors house and the horrid art opening leftover yellow sheet cake.
Search for me on Ebay by name: tilly strauss

Ice Cream oil paintings at freezer prices

Ya! Remember when I painted an ice cream sundae every Sunday for 30 weeks? I have about 15 left in the cabinets. 
Confession: I am at times overwhelmed with re-inventing a marketing plan. It's not enough to paint every day- I have to balance the invitations to exhibit, donate works, create window dressings, post on line, show up at gallery openings, and teach for a minimum, all "for exposure". Seems as though in any other business I'd be making money. 
Is the answer to lower prices even more? To paint a new line of smaller works? To go back to eBay? To get a full time job out of the studio? To flag down patrons on the highway?
I am feeling down. All this running about looking for new doors makes me feel as though my feet aren't even on the ground.
Here are the remaining small 4 x 4 x 2 inch oil paintings from my Sunday Sundae painting series. 
I'll take offers of any amount for purchase. and promise not to feel an insult taken. I believe we are all struggling financially. All of us are in different boats but on the same lake.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Works by me and my friends are on display and for sale at great holiday prices. Stop by or email me for more info. 4966 Route 22 Amenia
Included are ornaments by Rosemary Barrett, Zines by Animal Mitchell, Jewelry and the "after school boys club" book by my dad, and pencil illustrations and painted abstractions by Michael Gellatly. I am hoping to add my dad's line of jewelry, maybe even his salad dressing, and my friend Leesah Styles' Red Hot Christmas music CD! 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pelican Tea Phone Call Installation

Working on this "Four calling birds" installation has not been as smooth as the "three french hens". Yesterday I tried to ad the SENSUOUSNESS of paper to the figure of the pelican and I think I ruined her for the grouping... Now she is off to the side having tea in my store. (The tea cups have letters floating in the surface that say, "Call your mother". But that's another train of thought. 
I have a few things to work out in the studio to come clean with one good piece. Some days, weeks, months are like that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

soul searching art therapy

A long time ago I must have painted this. I can feel the despair in my soul just looking at it. The painting has lots of textural qualities though it is painted flat acrylic on canvas board. 
Today I work harder at setting up appointments with God. I hand over my worries in the morning and during the day I search for pauses where I invite God into my life. Its like a hide and seek game where I know the Presence will be felt at some point, with some vision, through some act of kindness, a manifest miracle. I just have to be aware. At night I say my gratitude list. I do not think I could paint another painting like this one since I have really changed so much since then. If I did one today I'd have to paint about the words, "God is everywhere".
16 x 12 inches.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Flags going for county wide quilt

Three of the flags made this summer are going to be included in a county wide quilt project...
The Millerton Clock Tower by Ralph F., the Maxon Mills (Wassaic Project) building by Rhoda L., and the Furnace by Kent K. 
It's going to be awesome. The walkway project organizers- in addition to the quilt are creating a book. I know they have to still fund raise for a couple million to finish the park amenities. Perhaps the book will be something to inspire people to give back to the bridge. (views on the bridge) 
(no dp)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hen under bright light

My hens have quit laying eggs this week. I know it is a normal, and hopefully temporary, reaction to the weather and the season. I have a lightbulb installed on a timer- and it is the most frustrating newfangled contraption... I can't tell if the light will go on at 3pm and off at 8 or on at 2am and off at 5am... There are dials that rotate counter clockwise with in dials that rotate clockwise. The numbers listed go 2, 6, 10, 2, 6, 10, etc... My brother the engineer will be at the farm for Thanksgiving. I will have to ply him with wine and see if I can weedle him up here to look at this thing.
Meanwhile- I paint voodoo... a glorious domesticated hen in all her purple feathery finery sitting on a mound of pale prism colored eggs!
6 x 6 inches, wood panel.
By the way- I visited the Rhinebeck Art Store today to pick up my Sinterklaas canvas... and wow! What a place. It is much larger than it looks with lots of "secret" rooms full of discounted canvas, and basement displays of glorious paint, and little nooks with great kid gift craft items. The owner, Doug Shippee, had some of his own oil paintings displayed on the walls. I liked them. I liked the place a lot.

So much going on... And if you are in Berlin?

December, 12th 2009 - January 17th 2010

opening reception: December, 11th, 2009 / 7 pm

closed on December 25./26. & Dezember 31. & Januar 1st

every Sunday, 2PM (except December 27):
GUIDED TOUR at the exhibition with Anke Becker (blütenweiss)

Sunday, December 13. and 20. / 3 PM:
ADVENT at BETHANIEN: hot wine punch & christmas cookies

Thursday, December 17., 7PM
with DR. ANDREAS SCHALHORN/Kupferstichkabinett Berlin:
“In Grenzen grenzenlos. Anmerkungen zu Qualität und Vielfalt der Zeichnung“

for a unit Saleprice of 150 Euro each
at the opening night and at the weekends form 3 - 7 PM.
(except December 26./ 27.).

Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien
Mariannenplatz 2
D-10997 Berlin

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nest's back Then and Now

I am installing a mini- retrospective at the Maplebrook school this week. (Open reception will be December 6th). I start with the 1989 nest on a branch and end with the 2009 empty nest in a fog. Funny thing: when I look back over the twenty years, a lot of the symbols and vocabulary are the same... but the story sure has changed.

I hope the students at the school appreciate narrative art, and find some inspiration to document their own struggles. I mean Life.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wine, fruit and phone with text

Well- I'd like to call this something more like: spirits, seeds, and connection. But I am told to be more simple and visually analytical when posting an image to the search engine so... people can find it!
I was thinking of my sweet sister-friend Lise when I painted this... flanked by her daughter and listening to Haitian music in the studio this rainy afternoon.I know Lise loves papaya... and I know she misses her past, her parents. Would a phone call help? 
Then I added random text from the headlines box. I swear, whoever is doing the headlines at the Los Angeles Times has to be a deep and dark person. The headlines are often a blatant cry for help. So I think.
I like the banner about picking life OR money. It is so true for me right now. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Muse with brushes (chicken hen sits on the paints

Whenever things get too messy in my life and my art starts to get too serious, I remind myself to back off and paint easy. Chickens fall out of the brush. There's nothing too deep about them.
6 x 9 inches acrylic on wood panel

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NEST on glass with lime

Good morning heart ache.
I might as well get used to you hanging round...
-Etta James

Only so much I can do to bury this. 
7 x 5 inches on canvas

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A LITTLE faith/ hope/ charity with three french hens

On veterans day no less! We need a little Faith, Hope and Charity. thats what the Three French hens in the 12 days of christmas represent. 
Working on a window display for Hudson winter walk. This goes in one window of a clothing store. Ros Ollivierra’s Omnia Nouveaux (238 Warren), joins the ranks of used and vintage clothing stores, although you’d never know it. Ros mixes high quality vintage with new pieces, at varying price points.

So be sure to check out the wndows next week- here is a sneal peak, 
I am blessed to have attended a nice ceremony in town (just outside my studio practically)! The boy scouts showed drawings of how the American flag has changed over time. It was a nice job.
Have spent the day cleaning my desk and organizing and working on conceptualizing some themes... going to open a "backroom store" and offer FREE GIFT WRAPPING with any purchases.

Student at work

This was yesterday!
Isn't she good?! I have a class of six five- year olds and they always amaze me. Picasso said he worked his whole life to be able to paint like a child.

My summer student's show is hanging

Opening is this Saturday at the Mill Street Loft- Poughkeepsie- from 5:30- 7
The show will be up through December 2.
Great stuff- it was fun to hang. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The third cup broken in six pieces, with landscape

Painted paper...
19 x 26 inches

this gives me another idea...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Breaking cup on the steps of Venice canal

This is a painted and sewn paper painting- with edges of the studio's red walls visible as a border.
Just a little stitching around the whole cup.

This painting reminds me of a really happy time- when the art was flowing and new brilliant people were met every day and the food... the food was simply divine. Something was bound to break...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

exploding cup for Barcelona

This is a painting on paper done a while back... when I was "so happy, my cup wasn't just full, or spilling over, it was exploding"
measures about 24 x 32 inches.
I was also honoring Josep Maria Jujol Gibert (Tarragona, September 16, 1879 – Barcelona, May 1, 1949) - the master mosaicist who worked to embellish Antonio Gaudi's buildings. Once under his ceiling I looked up and saw the mosaic above my head held designs made out of broken coffee cups! (Under Parc Guel) The arches are my version of parabolic arches...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NEST WITH flowers

Mixed media- wood, styrofoam, paint, newspaper, glue....

Sometimes you have to make a choice. How long is it possible to not be sure?

Friday, November 6, 2009

NEST on Fire

9 1/4 inch by 8 1/4 inch acrylic on birch luan panel
Reminded of a sermon (at last spring during Pentecost- when pastor Bruce said "sometimes you have to burn the nest to be free to fly". Or something like that.
This small painting took me more than a few days to get looking "right'. I'm afraid with all my concentration on the heat, I may have lost the spiral shaping of the nest.
Last week I delivered six small paintings to Kenise Barnes Fine Art- a delightful little gallery in Larchmont, NY. It's been located on Palmer Avenue for the last 14 years- a lovely strip of shops and restaurants. It would be awesome if someone who reads this actually went there and ASKED to see my work.
I also went to New York City and dined with uncles, aunts and cousins and, as a trustee of a charitable organization I gave away more money than I can dream of making.
Back at home, I've cut some large 32 x 24 inch panels and primed them. My hope is to REALLY paint out the empty nests in my heart, head, soul and eyes. I know I should be making nicer pictures, and these are holding me up in some sort of funky sad way.

Natalie, age 4, paints God, a pony and herself

She's letting me keep this one!